FOX 225, the final edition, is in the shops and available online now…
It features: Our favourite replies to our interview questions over the years; Opening Shots – the best photos of the month; Fully Programmed, from April 1980. Jock’s Foxes are on the way up; Fox Diary – the further adventures of Leicester City; a round up of Foxes Trust activities; Rewind to 2016 – Did that REALLY happen?; Foxed in the Head on the Huncote pipe discovery, the F-Bar mural and trips to Rome; Farewell to Andy Lochhead and Neville Chadwick; The History of LCFC in 100 Objects – Gordon Milne gets some recognition; Club historian John Hutchinson recalls Don Revie’s time at Leicester; your letters and Bentley’s Roof… and Fanatical Frank goes to Rome.
The most fun you can have for £2.50…
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City’s European ambitions came to an end in Rome on Thursday night, with an Abraham goal sending Roma to the Europa Conference League Final.
3,500 City fans and the vast majority of 60,000 raucous Romans were in their seats over an hour before kick off as an incredible atmosphere began to build. Brendan Rodgers made ten changes to the side that lost at Spurs, and with the exception of the injured Ndidi, this was his strongest line-up.
City, playing towards a wall of noise from the Curva Sud, had a decent opening spell. Tielemans had a shot blocked by Smalling, and then Fofana was wrestled to the ground as he attempted to meet a Maddison corner. But the referee wasn’t interested, something that became an ongoing theme for the night. Roma then began to press forward, and earned a free-kick on the left. Pellegrini tried to catch Schmeichel out at the near post but he beat the well-struck shot into the ground and it span up and over the bar. This was a brief respite for City, who went a goal down in the 11th minute. A corner from the right was met with a thumping header from Abraham who had soared above his marker Ricardo. The noise that greeted this goal was ear-splitting, and City now had their work cut out. Dewsbury-Hall saw a shot deflected high and wide and from the resulting corner Evans was fouled, but even at this stage it was clear that City wouldn’t be getting anything from referee Srdjan Jovanovic. Pellegrini was a big threat and Schmeichel had to react swiftly to block his shot at the near post. Fofana then blocked a shot from Zaniolo. City were struggling to create anything going forward at this stage and Vardy cut a lonely figure up front. Towards the break Ibañez got in the way of a Lookman shot and then a Ricardo shot was blocked by Pellegrini. The half time whistle saw Roma with a precious lead and City had struggled to make any impression.
Brendan Rodgers made two changes for the second half with Amartey on for Lookman and Iheanacho replacing Barnes. Vardy now had some company up front and the performance improved. Dewsbury-Hall, City’s best man on the night, strode forward and had a crack from 25 yards, but sent his effort wide of Rui Patrício’s left hand post. A short corner from Maddison then set up Vardy with a chance, but Abraham denied the City striker. There were ugly scenes in the away corner with Roma fans hurling fireworks, flares and beer into the City crowd, with them being returned with interest, before the riot police waded in with batons. Roma looked very happy defending a one goal lead and City were struggling to get anywhere near their goal. Rodgers brought on Castagne for Ricardo and then Pérez for Dewsbury-Hall, but fresh legs didn’t make any difference. City were reduced to hopeful long-range efforts and when a Maddison shot curled comfortably into Rui Patrício’s grasp, it summed up the evening. As did another Maddison shot that clearly deflected off a Roma defender, but saw Roma awarded a goal kick. Schmeichel made a good save late on to deny Oliveira, but Roma didn’t need a second goal. They saw out 5 minutes of time added on but in truth City had failed to lay a glove on them all night. And when you are almost certainly going to concede a goal from a corner, you aren’t going to get very far. The final whistle heralded the end of City’s European adventure, not only for this season but next season too. The home crowd remained in the ground for half an hour celebrating their progress to the final, while the City fans had to wait until past midnight to be let out.
Brendan Rodgers summed up: “Of course when you lose a second leg of a semi-final it’s disappointing. In the first half it wasn’t aggressive enough. The players kept going until the very end but we couldn’t find that big chance. There wasn’t many in the game for both teams. It’s been a great journey for us in Europe in the last couple of years. We have a lot of young players that are finding their way and this was a great experience for them. That will provide motivation for them next season.”
A City side that illustrated the club’s European priorities were no match for Tottenham on Sunday afternoon.
Brendan Rodgers, with his eye firmly on Thursday’s game in Rome, made eight changes to his side. After an early spell of pressure from Spurs in the opening five minutes, City got their passing game together and began to create some chances. Thomas played Pérez in down the left and his shot was deflected narrowly wide, but a goal kick was awarded. In the 11th minute Albrighton launched a free-kick intoi the area. Although it was nodded clear, Son appeared to control with his hand as he contested the ball with Pérez, but VAR judged no penalty. Three minutes later City threatened again, Soumaré beat Davies down the right and his low cross found Daka in the middle, but his low shot was finger-tipped onto the post by Lloris. As City kept the pressure on Davies gave the ball away on the edge of the area and Albrighton sent a low ball across goal, but Romero slid in to deny Daka at the far post. But City’s good work was undone by a familiar route in the 22nd minute. Son delivered a corner from the right and Kane evaded Amartey to nod home from close in. It was Kane’s 19th goal in eighteen games against City. Spurs almost doubled their lead when a Mendy pass set Kane up but Schmeichel spread himself well to deny Kane a 20th goal against us. City pressed forward and a shanked shot from Pérez almost set up Daka but he couldn’t get to the ball at full stretch. Castagne then did well to block Moura, and City trailed at the break thanks to their Achilles heel of defending corners.
City’s second half performance didn’t match the first, and they went further behind on the hour. Romero won two crunching tackles against Daka and then Söyüncü to send Spurs racing forward. Kulusevski slipped a ball through to Son who turned nimbly before scuffing a shot past Schmeichel. Brendan Rodgers made a double change in the 67th minute with Brunt and Vardy on for Soumaré and Daka. Lloris had to be smartly off his line to prevent Iheanacho running onto to a through ball from Pérez. Pérez then made way for Tielemans, but City soon fell further behind. In the 79th minute Kane picked out Son on the edge of the area and he took a touch before sending an unstoppable shot into the top left hand corner. Spurs were content to sit back after this. Vardy, who had struggled to get involved, glanced a header wide. The visiting fans finally had something to cheer in time-added-on when Iheanacho went forward from midfield, skipped round Winks and buried a low shot from 20 yards just inside the right hand post.
This City line-up just didn’t have enough to match a Spurs side chasing a Champions League slot, but hopefully it may be a gamble that pays off. Brendan Rodgers was not happy: “Defending corners has been a problem for us all season – we lack aggression and cuteness. It was so disappointing. It is something we will have to look at in the summer through personnel. The mentality to head the ball is missing; it’s something we would need to address.” We got the game back again and started the second half with confidence. We missed a challenge we cannot miss and they end up getting the goal from that. The challenge is in our favour, we have to win it.”
A second half own goal conceded by Roma, saw City’s first ever European semi-final all square at 1-1 after the first leg at the KPS on Thursday night.
Brendan Rodgers made four changes to his side, bringing in Vardy, Ricardo, Evans and Albrighton as the club attempted to reach a European final for the first time in their history. City got off to a lively start against the backdrop of loud noise from both home and away fans, that had been cranked up by Union FS tifo display and a rendition of ‘When You’re Smiling’ over the PA that should be a permanent feature. Vardy hustled Smalling out of possession, but his low cross was blocked by Zaniolo. City then won a couple of corners, before Maddison had two shots blocked from the edge of the area. But for all City’s early dominance, it was Roma who took a 15th minute lead. The Italian side broke upfield, Zalewski raced down the left and cut inside Ricardo, before playing a perfect ball into the path of Pellegrini who jabbed the ball through Schmeichel’s legs. Five minutes later Rodgers was forced into his first change of the night when Castagne had to retire with a shoulder injury, Justin replacing him. City continued to have around 70% possession, but Jose Mourinho’s side were happy to sit back and invite them to find a way through a solid defence. Lookman had a fierce shot blocked by Smalling, and then Justin nodded wide at the far post from a well-delivered Albrighton corner. Maddison lifted a curling effort over the bar before Lookman forced a good save from Rui Patrício. Maddison sent a free-kick into the wall and fired another shot over as City began to show a hint of desperation. Roma took the lead down the tunnel with them at the break.
City’s quest to level the tie continued in the second half and Lookman should have done better with a free header from an Albrighton corner but sent it over. Dewsbury-Hall then fired a shot high and wide. Something needed to change and Rodgers made a double-substitution in the 62nd minute, bringing on Barnes and Iheanacho for Albrighton and Lookman. This quickly paid dividends with City levelling the tie in the 66th minute. Barnes, bringing an injection of energy into the forward play, raced into the area and played a ball off Iheanacho before firing the ball across the face of goal. Mancini, under severe pressure from Lookman, diverted the ball into his own net. City looked the more likely scorers for the remainder of the game, with Evans and Fofana coping comfortably with the occasional Roma attack. But they couldn’t find a way through. Ricardo raced down the right and slipped a ball inside to Maddison, but by the time he made room for a shot it looped up off a defender. It reached Iheanacho at the far post but he sent his header onto the roof of the net. Tielemans then robbed possession and set up Iheanacho, but his low shot went inches wide of the left hand post. Schmeichel had been a spectator for most of the game, but reacted well to save a deflected Oliveira with ten minutes remaining. Rodgers made his fourth change, bringing on Pérez for Lookman, but Roma’s defence was well bedded-in and play was broken up by some dubious injuries. All-square for the second leg in Rome, but on this showing Roma were nothing to be afraid of.
Brendan Rodgers summed up: “I thought we played ever so well, really dominated the game, very pleased with the performance. You want to start well, bring your tempo and intensity into the game. The only thing missing was the final bit of quality in the final third.”
City couldn’t break down a Villa side looking to cling on to a point in a forgettable 0-0 draw at the KPS on Saturday afternoon…
With the Europa Conference semi-final on the near horizon Brendan Rodgers made four changes to his side, bringing in Justin, Söyüncü, Lookman and Daka, while Vardy had a place on the bench after a seven week absence. This was City’s fourth game in ten days, while Villa were in action for the first time in two weeks. Villa created the first chance in the 9th minute when Fofana misjudged a header sending Watkins racing down the left. His cut-back found Bailey in the area, but he spooned his chance well over from 12 yards. After that the game settled into a pattern of City possession, but no chances created. Both keepers were spectators, with Martínez just having to pick up a weak effort from Daka, and Schmeichel fielding a hopeful long-range effort from Watkins.
The next incident of note came a minute before the break when Maddison was bundled over by Bailey 25 yards out. It was a ripe opportunity for a Maddison special, but he sent his free-kick inches wide of the left hand post. Villa raced up the other end and Justin did well to block a Coutinho shot from six yards out, before Mings nodded over from a corner.
If there was a feeling that it could only get better in the second half, it didn’t. City continued to have around 70% possession, but every move was ended by a misplaced pass on a hugely frustrating afternoon, and Steven Gerrard’s side had the better chances. Watkins beat Castagne down the right and sent a low drive thumping into Schmeichel’s chest at the near post. At the other end Dewsbury-Hall sent a long-range effort way off target, before Brendan Rodgers made his first change in the 71st minute. Vardy coming on for Daka produced the loudest cheer of the afternoon, but City’s talisman hardly got a touch, with City unwilling to send the odd long ball through to him. Villa still occasionally emerged from their shells and Justin had to block a Ramsey effort. Rodgers made another change for the final ten minute bringing on Barnes for Lookman, but it had little effect. Maddison was hauled over by Konsa 25 yards out, and this time he aimed for the bottom right, but Martínez got down to it comfortably.
At the other end Buendía sent a curling shot narrowly wide, before the referee called time on a poor spectacle.
As the players left the field thoughts were already turning to Thursday’s semi-final against Roma, which would require a much-improved performance.
For the second game running City conceded in stoppage time, with Richarlison’s equaliser cancelling Barnes’ 5th minute opener at Goodison on Wednesday night.
Brendan Rodgers continued with his method of squad rotation, making seven changes for this trip to Merseyside. This was the ‘A Team’ and they took the game to relegation-threatened Everton from the first whistle. Before 30 seconds had passed Dewsbury-Hall bore down on Pickford’s goal, but Coleman managed to block as he pulled the trigger. But City didn’t have long to wait, taking a 5th minute lead. Maddison’s low cross from the right found Iheanacho, although his prod towards goal was blocked the ball ran on for Barnes who slotted through Coleman’s legs for the opener. City’s passing game had Everton chasing shadows and as they worked their way into the area an Iheanacho backheel set up Maddison, but his side-footed effort went straight at Pickford. Everton’s first chance came in the 17th minute when a Gordon ball across the face of goal found Richarlison unmarked at the far post. It looked a certain goal, but the Brazilian casually prodded it wide. As the home side pressed forward again, Tielemans got in the way of a well struck effort from Gray. City were dominating possession, but not creating any chances as the first half progressed. Maddison had a shot blocked by Mina but chances were rare. Everton went close a minute before the break when a well-worked corner saw Gray curling a shot from the edge of the area inches wide of Schmeichel’s goal.
Everton improved after the break and Iwobi lifted one effort over the bar, before sending another chance off target. Frank Lampard brought on Alli and then Rondón, which gave the Toffees more threat and Rodgers replaced Barnes with Lookman. In the 67th minute Rondón won a high ball to set up Richarlison, but his low shot was well saved by Schmeichel. A minute later City went close when Maddison sprinted into space on the edge of the area and fired in a shot that was beaten away by Pickford. Iheanacho was replaced by Daka and he sent a ball across the area that found Maddison with his back to goal. He twisted and turned round a defender before finding the side-netting with his shot after a deflection from Delph. From the resulting corner Fofana rose above the defence but sent his header inches wide of the far post. At the other end Schmeichel got down well to save a Mina header. Richarlison then missed a gilt-edged chance to level, directing his header from a corner wide of the far post. Rodgers brought Amartey on for Mendy with seven minutes remaining. City could have sealed the points with five minutes to go. Lookman crossed for Daka who forwarded it on to Maddison. His fierce shot took a touch off Delph which sent it just beyond the left hand post. Desperate for a point, Everton applied some late pressure. Coleman had a shot from close in blocked by Amartey and then Goodison erupted as they found a way through in the second minute of stoppage time. Alli evaded the attention of two defenders on the right and his low cross was missed by Rondón at the near post but rolled to Richarlison whose scuffed shot found its way into the net.
As at St James’ Park, City had been unable to see the game out. Everton needed, and wanted, it more. Brendan Rodgers commented: “If we can finish in the top half of the table and get to the final of the competition we’re in, that’ll be a really good season for us, in terms of the position we’ve been in with injuries. We look to the next game and we’ll see where we finish.”
A poor spectacle at St James’ Park on Sunday was settled by a Guimarães goal in the last minute of added time, as City let a lead, and then a point, slip away.
With the Europa Conference semi-final now very much a priority, Brendan Rodgers made eight changes to his side for this trip to the North East. One member of the replacement back four picked up a booking in the 38th second when Amartey fouled Almirón 30 yards out. Shelvey’s free kick bounced awkwardly in front of Schmeichel but he saved comfortably. Play was then held up for a while when Dubravka crashed into Burn as they both went for a high ball into the area. Burn recovered to attempt a volley that was blocked, before City took a 19th minute lead from a beautifully worked corner. Dewsbury-Hall sent his flag kick low to the near post where Pérez had slipped his marker to flick a backheel into the path of Lookman, who fired a shot under Dúbravka’s dive. Newcastle threatened occasionally through Saint-Maximim, but the City defence coped with him and then Pérez attempted a 25-yarder that was blocked by Burn. The Magpies then drew level at the half hour mark. A Shelvey corner from the left led to a scramble at the far post. The ball was trapped between Schmeichel’s heels and Guimarães prodded it over the line. VAR judged that Schmeichel didn’t have the ball under control and the game was all-square. Five minutes later there were loud penalty appeals when Söyüncü challenged Wood in the area and he went tumbling, but replays showed the Turkish defender getting a touch on the ball. The momentum was with the hosts now: Targett sent a header straight at Schmeichel and then Wood nodded wide. Dewsbury-Hall thumped a 25-yarder straight at Dúbravka, and the sides went in level at the break.
Newcastle started the second half on the attack, but the erratic Saint-Maximim fired one shot wide and another well over the bar. The game became becalmed in midfield for a while and Rodgers made his first change on the hour, bringing on Maddison for Pérez, soon followed by Barnes for Lookman. City were dominating possession at this point but not threatening Newcastle’s goal. A further change saw Iheanacho on for Daka, and he soon had a chance, meeting a low Dewsbury-Hall cross at the near post, but Dúbravka managed to block. Both sides looked to have settled for a point as the game drifted to an end, but there was to be late drama that ignited St James’ Park. City have managed games out well during their five match unbeaten run, but that wasn’t the case as this game entered the final minute of time-added-on. Amartey launched a ball forward, and Justin was dispossessed on the byline. Substitute Willock charged down the left, leaving Tielemans in his wake and his cross took a deflection that set the ball up for an emphatic diving header from Guimarães. City’s unbeaten run was over, as was their run of five wins on the trot at Newcastle. In chasing a late winner they had conceded one. Brendan Rodgers aired his disappointment: “The message always is: if you control the ball, you control the game, and for some reason right at the end, we decided to go long with it, then we give it away, and they have a break away. It was very harsh on us because I thought some of our play and our pressing was excellent.”
City were behind in this tie in Eindhoven with 13 minutes remaining, before goals from Maddison and Ricardo propelled them into the club’s first ever European semi-final.
Brendan Rodgers selected the same side that played in the first leg for this trip to Holland, and they got off to a decent start. PSV lacked the intensity they had shown in the opening spell at the KPS, and City had the first chance when Fofana couldn’t react quickly enough to an Evans nod on. Maddison then cut in from the right and battled past Max and Ramalho before being crowded out at the near post. PSV’s first chance came in the 13th minute when a swift break upfield saw Max deliver a cross from the left. Götze, lurking at the far post caught it well on the volley but Schmeichel reacted brilliantly to tip over over the bar. City should have taken the lead two minutes later when Iheanacho delivered a Tielemans-style ball through the home defence that sent Barnes racing down the left channel. But he pushed his low shot just past the far post. Schmeichel was in action again in the 24th minute, diving to his left to prevent a low Veerman effort from sneaking inside the post. But two minutes later he was picking the ball out of his net as the hosts took the lead. Tielemans played back pass directly to Götze, who teed up Zahavi, whose shot took a nick off Evans that deceived Schmeichel. The Philips Stadion erupted and City had a big task on their hands. City responded well and applied some pressure. An Albrighton corner from the right was half-cleared to Maddison, whose fierce shot was blocked and the ball looped up towards goal. But Teze performed an acrobatic overhead kick to clear from a yard out. Tielemans then played an excellent ball to the far post, but Castagne got his header wrong from close in. Maddison then fired a shot over the bar, and PSV took the lead in with them at the break.
Brendan Rodgers made a double-change for the second half with Lookman and Daka replacing Albrighton and Barnes. PSV had the first chance of the second half when Tielemans gave the ball away in midfield, but Gakpo was well marshalled by Evans and Schmeichel saved his low shot comfortably. Fofana then put in a superb tackle on Götze as he threatened to break into the box. How we have missed him this season. PSV went close when a Veerman shot from outside the area deflected off Fofana and went narrowly wide of the left hand post. And then Zahavi nodded over the bar from close in. But after this spell of pressure from the home side, City began to wrest control of the game. From a PSV corner City broke swiftly upfield and Iheanacho sent Daka in on goal, but his sent his low shot narrowly wide of the left hand post. Dewsbury-Hall then teed up Maddison for a shot from the edge of the area, but Mvogo got a fingertip to his curling effort. Rodgers made his third change in the 65th minute, bringing Pérez on for Iheanacho. Sangaré blasted over the bar from a good position, but PSV were fading at this stage. After Fofana snuffed out another PSV attack with a superb challenge in the 77th minute, City moved upfield. Ricardo sent Pérez down the right and he skipped past Ramalho before pulling the ball back. Maddison was on hand to side-foot home from 12 yards and the tie was level. City pressed forward in search of a winner and a cross from Lookman was flicked goalwards by Pérez, but Mvogo managed to block from close range. With PSV hanging on for extra time, City breached their defence again in the 88th minute. Dewsbury-Hall and Maddison combined well to send Lookman in the the right channel. He found Daka in the middle, whose shot was saved, but Ricardo popped up on the right to slam the ball home and spark huge celebrations in the away corner. City managed the five minutes of time-added-on well and the final whistle saw them into the club’s first ever European semi-final. The celebrations on the pitch were matched by those City fans up in the ‘away cage’ and later that evening a 4-0 win for Roma meant that we had a date in the Stadio Olimpico.
Brendan Rodgers was delighted: “The players are so happy. It’s great for the supporters, and everyone connected with Leicester. The boys were fantastic second half. The first half was ponderous for us, and when you get to the quarter-finals, you don’t get a second chance. We needed to speed up our movement, and be more dynamic straight from the second half. And the guys did that. The pitch was difficult, not as good as it looks. The belief was there, we scored two wonderful goals.”
A much changed City line-up beat Palace 2-1 at the King Power Stadium on Sunday, with Dewsbury-Hall claiming an assist and his first Premier League goal. With one eye on Thursday’s Europa Conference League quarter-final, Brendan Rodgers made seven changes to his side, including the whole back four. Palace were on a great run of form having not conceded a goal for over a month, and they had an FA Cup semi-final to look forward to. City created an early chance when Thomas sent a fine ball down the left to Lookman, but he fired his shot wide of the left hand post. Two well-matched sides then found themselves in a stalemate for most of the first half and chances were few and far between. Mateta forced Schmeichel into a save with a low angled drive. Tielemans sent a shot narrowly over the bar and Justin blocked a Zaha shot before the game finally burst into life in the 39th minute. Dewsbury-Hall took possession 40 yards out and evaded a challenge before slipping an inch perfect ball through to Lookman, who slotted the ball past Guita. City then doubled their lead five minutes later. Daka fed the ball to Dewsbury-Hall on the edge of the area and he turned his marker before firing a shot into the top left hand corner, for his first Premier League goal.
City started the second half on the front foot and Tielemans’ dipping shot was tipped over the bar by Guaita at full stretch. Maddison had a free-kick in Maddison territory but his effort was blocked by the wall. Palace then had a decent spell, and were back in the game in the 66th minute. Ayew made his way into the penalty area, Tielemans dangled a leg, and Ayew fell over it. Zaha’s spot-kick was brilliantly saved by Schmeichel, low to his left. But VAR ruled that Söyüncü had encroached into the area before clearing the rebound. Zaha had another chance, but it was a poor effort that Schmeichel blocked again. Unfortunately the rebound fell kindly for Zaha who nodded the ball home. His celebrations many have been a little overblown for someone who had just missed two penalties inside a minute. Palace soon threatened again and a low cross from Zaha led to a frantic goalmouth scramble but it was eventually cleared by Amartey. Brendan Rodgers made a couple of changes bringing on Barnes and Iheanacho for Lookman and Daka, and City opted for attack being the best form of defence with a series of moves that broke down around the Palace area. They held on to the three points without any drama, in a performance that showed the squad had some strength in depth. Brendan Rodgers praised Dewsbury-Hall’s match winning performance: “Kiernan was outstanding. Since he’s come into the team, he’s everything that represents a team of mine, he’s got great industry, he runs, he works, he presses. He’s scored in Europe, but the job is to create goals and score goals. The goal he scored was first class. Delighted for him because he’s made a real impact with his honesty.”
FOX 224, the April edition, will be on sale before the Palace game on Sunday…
It features: An interview with former former City midfielder and long-range goal scorer Andy Peake; Opening Shots – our favourite photos of the month; Get With the Programme… from March 1975. Jimmy Bloomfield signs Chris Garland…; Fox Diary – the further adventures of Leicester City; FiftySomething – ornithology and matchday moaning; the latest news from the Foxes Trust; Rewind – to 2008 – the Hungarians are here; Foxed in the Head, on accidental pruning, obscure players and a rotten trip to Nottingham; Too many farewells: Bobby Moore, Frank O’Farrell, Gordon Lee and Bernie; The History of Leicester City in 100 Objects – Shilts’ Admiral Argent; Club historian John Hutchinson on Gary Lineker’s debut; your letters and Bentley’s Roof…
The most fun you can have for £2.50…
Andy Peake Interview extract
FOX: You made your first team debut against Norwich in the FA Cup, when did Jock tell you you were playing? AP: He didn’t! Yes, Norwich at home, FA Cup, January 6th 1979. I found out on the Friday. We used to get changed at Filbert Street for training and then get a bus or a lift in a car to Belvoir Drive. Big Iain MacFarlane pulled me aside and said, “I’ll take you over there.” In the car he said: “Are you ready?” I said: “Ready for what?” He said: “Do you feel comfortable… playing tomorrow?” I said: “Yeah!” And that was it. FOX: Did you get much sleep? AP: I was nervous but I think I slept okay. People probably remember it as the game when Keith Weller wore white tights, rather than being my debut. It was very cold and icy and one of very few games played that week. FOX: Was anything said in the dressing room about the woolly tights? AP: I can’t remember, but I do remember thinking, ‘If you are going to play in those, you’d better have a good game.’ Which he did, because he was a fantastic player. He scored a great goal, when he nipped in from the right. The actual finish, I think he mis-hit, but that was what took it past the keeper. Even in training, if you were on his team in 5-a-side, you always won. He was in a different class.